Hyjek and Caiazzo Push Valiants Past Del Val in 2nd Half, 74-69

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PURCHASE, N.Y. – The inside game was important for Manhattanville all night long as senior Kelli Hyjek (Tolland, Conn./Tolland) and freshman Alyson Caiazzo (Brooklyn, N.Y/St. Saviour) combined for 21 second half points to help the Valiants past the Aggies of Delaware Valley 74-69 on Tuesday evening in Freedom Conference play.

Hyjek finished the game with 14 points and Caiazzo had 12 of her own. Manhattanville also got 23 points out of junior Taylor Wilson (Pearl River, N.Y./Pearl River) and 11 more from freshman Dominique Wilson (Coram, N.Y./Centereach). Senior Courtney Turner (Staten Island, N.Y./Ralph McKee) inched closer to the 1,000 point mark for her career finishing the game with eight points and has 995 heading into the season finale on Saturday.

As a team the Valiants shot 43.1% from the floor as the Aggies were just percentage points ahead at 43.3% from the field. Manhattanville also outrebounded their guests from Doylestown, Pa. by a 43-36 margin. The Valiants limited their turnovers to a season low 17 while forcing 19 Aggie giveaways.

In the first half Delaware Valley opened up a 4-0 lead but Manhattanville quickly came back on five straight points from Taylor. The lead see-sawed back and forth seven times in the first half, including the Valiants' largest lead of the half coming at 24-19 after a free throw from Hyjek at 5:17. The Aggies tied the game at 26 but Manhattanville game finished the half with a two point lead on a free throw by Turner with nine seconds to go.

Also in the first half for the Aggies, junior Emily Soper had eight points to give her 1,000 career points of her own. She finished the game with 13 points and now has 1,005 heading into Delaware Valley's final game of the year.

After the intermission Manhattanville worked their lead up to four points, but the Aggies tied the game on a three pointer at 18:45 to knot it up at 32. Again the Valiants got the lead up to three but Delaware Valley hit back-to-back field goals to take a one point edge. Hyjek gave the Valiant the lead back with a layup, which was answered by an Aggies bucket, and again another Hyjek layup at 14:13 to put Manhattanville up 42-41.

Caiazzo began to start hitting shots as well through the final 12 minutes of regulation starting with a free throw to tie it at 46, as Delaware Valley answered with a three point basket that was followed up by a layup from Caiazzo. But just as Manhattanville had kept it close, Delaware Valley began to pull away and took a seven point lead with 8:56 to go in the period. Hyjek and Caiazzo combined to go on a 7-1 run over Del Val to pull within one once again.

Manhattanville got the game tied again at 64 on a key layup from Dominique to knot it up with 4:21 to go. The Aggies then hit four straight points and Taylor hit a three pointer to pull within one once again. After a turnover by Del Val gave the ball back to Manhattanville, Taylor hit another three pointer to put the Valiants up 70-68.

The Aggies hit one free throw to go pull within one and then began to foul the Valiants. Taylor went to the charity stripe four times over the final 23 second and hit all four to cap off the scoring at 74-69. In the second half the lead changed eight more times for a game total of 15 lead changes.

Manhattanville (8-15, 3-10 Freedom) will finish their season on Saturday afternoon against Misericordia at 1:00 p.m. the game may be broadcast on GoValiants.TV, be sure to check back to GoValiants.com for any further notification on the potential broadcast. Delaware Valley (12-12, 3-10 Freedom) will also finish their season at home on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. when they play host to FDU-Florham.